Universities and the cycling culture

Environmental analysis consistently shows transport as being amongst the top three contributors to a university's ecological footprint. This paper reports on a study undertaken at the Mawson Lakes Campus of the University of South Australia into cycling as a sustainable transport option. First, the paper analyzes the campus as a text: an artifact which addresses a particular audience and is actively read and interpreted by those who travel through it. In reading the campus, we go beyond examining levels of cycling infrastructure provision to consider the way infrastructure provision constitutes and positions different travelers as (ab)normal. Second, the paper looks at different groups of cyclists on campus, why some commuted to university and others did not and the experiences of each of these groups. It is found that cyclists are largely written out of the Mawson Lakes text which challenges their legitimacy as travelers and as users of campus space. The research also found substantial differences between groups of commuter and non-commuter cyclists and this division fell along staff and student lines. We conclude by suggesting ways that this and other universities might legitimize cyclists and facilitate cycling as a mode of travel.


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  • Accession Number: 01152010
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 19 2010 2:12PM